http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/05...s_6124013.htmlDespite Japanese press reports of a unified Blu-ray-HD-DVD format, the companies behind the respective technologies say they've yet to agree.
According to the Nikkei Journal, Sony and Toshiba are finalizing plans to develop a unified disc format. The newspaper reported today that the two companies have agreed to combine Sony's 0.1mm protective layer and Toshiba's interface software. The reported agreement could be revealed as early as next week, says the paper, but both Sony and Toshiba are vehemently denying that any compromise has been reached.
Despite these denials, the Journal offered up some specifics on the alleged new format agreement. Chief among them is the supposed decision to adopt the Sony Blu-ray's 0.1mm protective layer.
Normal DVDs have a 0.6mm protective layer of plastic spread across their data-bearing surfaces, but Sony's Blu-ray disc format sacrifices durability in favor of more storage space. Use of this 0.1mm coating would require disc manufacturers to purchase new equipment, whereas Toshiba's 0.6mm coated HD-DVD discs can be laminated and polished with existing equipment.
The Nikkei Journal also alleges that Toshiba has agreed to create the software and copy-protection schemes to be used in the compromise disc format. If true, this means that Toshiba would author the code that tells disc drives how to read and write the data encoded on the discs.
But despite the Nikkei Journal article, both Sony and Toshiba have issued statements denying that any agreement has been reached. "We are still continuing our discussions for a unified disc format that will benefit our users," said a Sony spokesperson. "Although a single format would be ideal, there has been no significant progress since [the last coverage by the media on] April 21. There has been absolutely no decision made for the 0.1mm [Blu-ray] format to be adopted [for the unified next-generation disc standard]."
"At this point," said a Toshiba spokesperson, "nothing has been decided, and absolutely no decision has been made for unification on any basis. The indication that a unification agreement on the basis of a 0.1mm disc system is imminent is unfounded and erroneous. Given this, Toshiba does not intend to make any proposal on unification to the members of the HD-DVD Promotion Group."
Both Toshiba's HD-DVD and Sony's Blu-ray formats have been gearing up for battle since 2002. The formats have since divided the film, software, and game industries for what was expected to be a holy war between the two formats. In February, it was announced that Sony and Toshiba were meeting to discuss the creation of a compromise disc format that would avert such a war and prevent format war akin to the Betamax-versus-VHS video cassette conflict in the 1980s.
Sony and Toshiba have both acknowledged that a uniform standard is essential for market penetration. Media outlets, including GameSpot, had reported last month that the two companies were close to making a deal, but as yet, none has been announced.
Both Sony's and Toshiba's next-generation discs use blue lasers to read and write the data. Until now, most reflective disc technology has relied on red lasers, but that color has a relatively large wavelength (605 nanometers) when compared to colors further down the spectrum. Blue lasers offer a wavelength of only 405 nanometers, allowing the bumps that make up the ones and zeros on a disc's surface to be smaller than those on a red laser-read disc.
Sony's Blu-ray discs are said to offer 25GB of storage space in their single-layer form and are supported by MGM, Sony Pictures, and Disney, although Disney's agreement with Sony is nonexclusive. Blu-ray discs are also designed to work with the PlayStation 3.
Toshiba's HD-DVD format can hold 15GB of information in a single layer. The format is supported by Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and New Line Cinema. While some rumors say the Xbox 360 will use HD-DVDs, no announcement has been made about the console's media format.
I'm not sure if this was posted before but just in case, here.
Oh and tell me what you think of my new avatar.
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Some more info that your article didn't have.Talks stall over next-generation DVD standardization
The Asahi Shimbun
Talks between two rival camps over the standardization of next-generation DVD formats have stalled over a disagreement about disc structures.
The group led by Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. wants to adopt the key features of its Blu-ray Disc format, which writes data on a layer 0.1 millimeter below the disc's surface.
Toshiba Corp., which heads the rival HD-DVD camp, initially signaled its intention to play along, but has since become wary of making one-sided concessions in the face of the hard stance taken by its Blu-ray rivals, sources said.
Toshiba officials contend they will not compromise on the disc structure unless the Sony-Matsushita group clearly demonstrates that the Blu-ray technology is at least as advantageous as the lower-cost HD-DVD structure.
HD-DVDs contain data on a layer 0.6 mm from the surface, the same depth as current DVDs, and can therefore be produced using existing production equipment.
When the two camps started standardization talks in early March, Toshiba showed its willingness to compromise, albeit conditionally.
``We are willing to agree to the 0.1-mm structure, depending on certain provisions,'' a senior Toshiba official told a Sony counterpart.
A source close to the negotiations said Toshiba's signals for a possible compromise on the key issue paved the way for serious standardization discussions.
The two sides had sought to strike a deal by mid-May, when Sony is scheduled to unveil details of its next-generation PlayStation video game console at a trade fair in the United States.
Successful sales of the new PlayStation would also benefit Toshiba, which co-developed with Sony the semiconductor chips used in the machine.
Sony had already announced it would adopt the Blu-ray format for software titles for the new PlayStation.
The deadline is now likely to be missed as the two groups are at loggerheads.
The Sony-Matsushita side wants an agreement on the 0.1-mm-deep data layer before moving on to other specifics.
The Blu-ray camp remains confident it will prevail because it has a larger number of supporters, including Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
The Blu-ray technology makes it easier to shift to a multilayer structure for larger memory capacities. There are fewer errors during readings of high-density data the closer the layer is to the surface.
Toshiba is unwilling to readily abandon the HD-DVD technology, whose supporters include NEC Corp., Sanyo Electric Co. and some Hollywood film studios.
A senior Toshiba official says the Blu-ray camp needs to demonstrate that the 0.1-mm structure has enough advantages to justify shifting from the cheaper HD-DVD structure.
Toshiba announced on May 10 that it has developed a larger-capacity version of the HD-DVD.
A senior Toshiba official said the company would not have announced the triple-layer HD-DVD technology if the two sides had reached an agreement on a standardized disc format.
In response to the development of the 45-gigabyte disc, the Blu-ray camp has maintained that a four-layer Blu-ray disc that could hold 100 GB can be developed.
The Toshiba side countered by saying it doubts there would be demand for such a huge capacity disc.(IHT/Asahi: May 14,2005)
Also, try not to change your avatar every two days, it's hard to keep track who's who since I only look at the avatar :P. Overall, it's a good avatar.
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